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Vikings warming to Metrodome site

AFTERNOON EDITION

There is also a tad more developable land … Tim Nelson at MPR says the Vikings are showing a bit more interest in the Metrodome site: “In a letter to Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak and council president Barb Johnson, the team said a new stadium on the Metrodome site would be ‘workable.’ They're pushing for the Vikings to stay there, as the city prepares a final bid to keep the team this week. But the team also says it will lose more than $12 million a year for the three seasons they would have to play in TCF Bank Stadium during construction. They also said the University of Minnesota's football stadium would need $11 million in upgrades, and that the Metrodome needs $20 million worth of additional parking built adjacent to a new stadium.”

This leads ESPN’s Kevin Seifert to say: “A letter the Minnesota Vikings sent to Minneapolis leaders Tuesday is, of course, open to interpretation. Here's mine: The Vikings are moving closer to accepting not only that their new stadium will be in downtown Minneapolis, but also that it will be located on the current Metrodome site. Otherwise, I'm not sure they would have taken such pains to spell out the costs associated with relocating to TCF Bank Stadium for three years while the new stadium is under construction. The letter ... suggests the relocation will cost $48 million and also points out that the new stadium will need $19 million in parking enhancements to meet NFL standards. The letter still refers to the suburban Arden Hills site as ‘ideal,’ but it's grown increasingly evident that state leaders are skeptical of its financial viability. Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak favors the Metrodome site because of existing infrastructure, and the Vikings are no doubt reacting to the obvious wind shift. In many ways, the letter represents an effort to get the best deal at the Metrodome site. It projects the Vikings will lose $37 million in revenues by playing in a smaller stadium, implying that deficit should be folded into the new stadium's financing. It also notes that someone will have to pay $11 million for improvements in the state-owned TCF Bank Stadium, including underground heaters to prevent the field from freezing at the end of the NFL season.” A heated field? For god’s sake, someone call Bud Grant.

I know I’d be a lot better off if I could have practiced for this test. Madeleine Baran’s MPR story says: “The University of Minnesota filed a lawsuit Monday alleging that a website operator violated copyright law by posting a widely used psychological test online. The test, known as the MMPI, was developed at the University of Minnesota to assess personality traits and help diagnose mental disorders. It includes more than 500 statements that test takers are instructed to mark true or false. Over the past two decades, the MMPI has become one of the most commonly used psychological tests in the country. The lawsuit filed by the University and the testing company NCS Pearson, Inc. alleges that a New Zealand-based Web operator named Andrew Dobson illegally posted the statements and software that claimed to interpret the answers to two websites.”

It’s the “trading and financial” end of the operation that tanked Cargill’s quarterly numbers. Tom Webb’s PiPress story says: “Cargill's earnings plunged 88 percent in the second quarter, underscoring the financial jolts that last month led the agribusiness giant to lay off 2,000 employees. The privately owned business said today it earned $100 million in the quarter, down from the $832 million its ongoing operations earned last year. Cargill's trading and financial operations had an especially tough quarter. ‘The second quarter was significantly below expectations, especially in contrast to last year, when we posted our strongest quarter ever,’ Cargill CEO Greg Page said in a statement. At Wayzata-based Cargill, Page said its food ingredients and ag services businesses ‘generated solid earnings.’ But the trading and financial sides struggled. ‘[C]ommodity and financial markets were driven more by political uncertainties than by underlying supply and demand fundamentals,’ Page said.” Could I have a translation, please?

Anoka-Hennepin’s teachers seem to prefer no policy at all instead of a new one. Sarah Horner at the PiPress reports: “Union representatives of the 2,800-member teaching staff voted Monday against having any policy that would place dictates on classroom conversations about sexual orientation or any other topic deemed controversial, according to Julie Blaha, president of Anoka-Hennepin Education Minnesota. Those results were presented to the Anoka-Hennepin school board Monday night. ‘Despite the good intentions of it, it turned out to be more confusing and limiting than helpful,’ Blaha told board members, referring to the district's current sexual orientation curriculum policy. Teachers believe that the new, broader policy being considered to replace it isn't necessary either, she added. The vote was the first official stance taken by teachers on the sexual orientation curriculum policy. The guidelines have divided Minnesota's largest school district, landing it in the middle of a national debate about anti-gay bullying and prompting two lawsuits.”

Come on, you miss her as much as I do. So today, a post-facto Today in Bachmannia, courtesy of Mark Zdechlik at MPR: “With her presidential campaign behind her, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann is preparing to return full-time to her job representing Minnesota's 6th District in Congress. Bachmann press secretary Becky Rogness said the following of Bachmann:
‘She will continue to fight to keep our nation safe, free and sovereign by tackling the most pressing issues including our debt crisis, prevention of a nuclear Iran, and Obamacare's crippling effects. She is also dedicated to seeing the proposed St. Croix River Crossing Project through to completion. She is optimistic about what the rest of the 112th Congress will bring.’ ... According to the website, GovTrack.us, Bachmann has missed more than 12 percent of her votes since January of 2007 when she was sworn into congress. The website's statistics show Bachmann missed more than 90 percent of votes during the fourth quarter of 2011.” And you know, I’m no math wizard, but I don’t think there’s much “more” after you’ve missed “more than 90%.” Presumably Our Gal has GPS for finding her D.C. office.

Another coach with serious problems. At the Strib, Heron Marquez-Estrada reports: “The longtime coach of the Eagan High School boys' basketball team has resigned amid a police investigation into possible financial improprieties at youth sports camps he supervised, the Eagan Police Department reported Tuesday. Kurt Virgin, who was on paid leave while the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District conducted its own investigation, has resigned his position as of Monday ... Virgin was placed on leave Nov. 21. As of last month the investigation into Virgin's activities was internal at the school district. But last week Eagan police were notified and decided to conduct an investigation. ‘When district officials reviewed the [camps] the coach's administration of the programs was called into question,’ said Danielle Anselment, the police spokeswoman.”

I’m not sure this inspires confidence in the clergy. Rose French, the Strib’s religion writer, notes a new survey on the topic of ... evolution: “Pastors overwhelmingly believe God did not use evolution to create humans and think Adam and Eve were literal people, according to a recent survey of 1,000 American pastors by LifeWay Research. When asked to respond to the statement, ‘I believe God used evolution to create people,” 73 percent of pastors disagree, with 64 percent strongly disagreeing and 8 percent somewhat disagreeing. Twelve percent each somewhat agree and strongly agree. Four percent are not sure. In response to the statement, ‘I believe Adam and Eve were literal people,’ 74 percent strongly agree and 8 percent somewhat agree. Six percent somewhat disagree, 11 percent strongly disagree and 1 percent are not sure. Based on a Gallup poll from December 2010, pastors are more Creationist (referring to the belief that all things were created substantially as they now exist as recounted in the first chapter of Genesis and not gradually evolved) than the American public at large. Forty percent of Americans believe God created humans in their present form, 38 percent say God used evolution to develop humans.” I think that puts the United States somewhere down among the lost tribes of Amazon in terms of accepting evolution.

Hewing to the party line, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is doing what he can to impede the insurance exchanges required under “Obamacare.” The Journal Sentinel in Milwaukee (which endorsed him for election) isn’t pleased: “Walker's decision to stop work on Wisconsin's insurance exchanges, which are mandated by health care reform, is shortsighted and could give the federal government more influence over the state's insurance market than it should have. Walker and state officials should reconsider their decision. Walker said in December that the state would halt work on the online exchanges until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the health care law. ... In a recent interview with the Editorial Board, Walker said that it didn't make sense to proceed with the exchanges until the court sorts through the legal issues. Private insurers will sell insurance on these online marketplaces to both individuals and small businesses. The problem with Walker's position is twofold. First, like it or not — and Walker and other Republicans clearly do not like it — health care reform is the law of the land. To shrink from implementing any federal law is risky; the state conceivably could have to give back all or part of a $37 million federal grant to offset the initial cost of the exchanges. Second, with dozens of decisions required to set up the exchanges, time may not be a luxury the state has. Among the decisions to be made: how much flexibility to give insurers in determining what to cover and what role agents and brokers will play.” But then if no work is done, that will create “uncertainty,” which is clearly a result of socialized medicine and therefore the Democrats’ fault.

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Comments (3)

You neglected to mention that only Protestant ministers were surveyed, and given that Lifeway Research is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southern Baptist Convention, I think it's VERY safe to day that no mainstream Protestant ministers were contacted for this survey.

Yes, evangelical pastors believe what they preach. This is news?

The Strib's religion reporter also couldn't be bothered to ask any other ministers from other faiths what they thought, so yeah, chalk this one down as another free ad for Christian extremists who never quite "get" why the rest of us want no part of what they're selling.

In other shocking news, 9 out of 10 atheists I emailed about this article expressed contempt for the disingenuous way in which the Strib typed up this press release.

RE: #1

I found your comment hard to believe so I went first to the Star Trib article and then followed the link to the Lifeway Research site. The Strib Article was virtually word for word from their site. Probably just cut and pasted a press release.

And newspapers wonder why they are being marginalized.

[slaps palm to forehead] It never occurred to me to check the Lifeway site for press releases. I said what I did because the article read exactly like a press release. Not like a news story but rather exactly like it would be written if you were trying to wring the biggest oomph out of some propaganda you were trying to peddle.

But here's the dirty secret about how journalism covers religion: they don't. They just print the press releases. If the Strib's religon reporter was writing about food or computers, she would have been fired for this but because this is about religion, typing up the press release is practically her job description.

A real newspaper would revisit this story and would issue a correction explaining all the ways in which this story misled their readers into accepting proselytizing in lieu of reporting.